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Roads, driving present multiple hazards

Hello Boulder City! Kiss your loved ones and drive safely off to work. People may never think about the dangers involved with driving and stopping on the side of a street or highway. We think of it every day.

According to National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty fell to the lowest level since 1959. Interestingly, the leading cause of officers killed in the line of duty in 2013 involved traffic-related incidents. Out of the 113 killed, 46 officers’ end of watch came not from a gun, but involved a driver and his or her vehicle.

When we drive, it’s not just worrying about ourselves; we care about everyone on the road. Think of the miles a police officer drives and the number of traffic stops or accidents an officer has during the workday. The number is surprising.

When it comes to traffic stops, we try as best as possible to make it safe for everyone involved. However, sometimes we may not have the luxury of the best possible traffic conditions when stopping a vehicle or attending to an accident. Most of the time, our emergency patrol lights help, but sometimes even those aren’t enough.

Nevada law basically states when approaching a police vehicle and the vehicle’s emergency lights are on, the driver of an approaching vehicle shall (in the absence of other direction given by peace officer) decrease speed, proceed with caution, prepare to stop, if possible, and safely move over in the next lane.

Please refer to the Nevada Revised Statute 484B.607 if you like to read the exact text.

So, I ask all of you to help us out. If the lights are on, move over. This way everyone is safer. Thanks for the help.

What are you waiting for, let’s go. “Control, 269 we’ll be in 10-8 with a trainee.”

Feb. 9: We’ll be coming ‘round the mountain, when we come. Well, these would-be vacationers coming into Boulder City should have not been speeding. K-9 officer makes the stop and K-9 Charlie smells something “no bueno” in the car. The driver and occupants are arrested for possession of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.

Now that’s a trifecta.

Feb. 10: Let’s go for a walk; the evening is beautiful. Police are out and about, also. The two subjects are walking around and we spot them. Jaywalking is never safe. The officer makes contact with the subjects and the evening stroll comes to a hasty end. Boulder City Municipal Court is requesting their presence; apparently they missed their previous invitation to court.

Feb. 11: A driver runs the light at Veterans Memorial Drive. It’s night; the driver must have thought everyone was asleep. The red and blues bring the car to a stop. All the paper work is in order — even the court paper work the driver forgot about. Dear Mom, I’ll be in Henderson Detention Center. Pay your tickets; warrants are no fun.

Feb. 12: Officers get dispatched to the streets regarding a domestic disturbance. Officers determine a battery occurred when the female became a soccer player, kicking the male around. Henderson Detention Center will have a new guest.

Feb. 13: Officers get dispatched to the area of Elm Street regarding a burglary in progress. Officers arrive to find the renters stripping the residence of its awnings, swamp cooler and window shades. The owner is told this is a civil matter and the would-be metal scrappers/renters promise to reaffix the fixtures.

Feb. 14: Dispatch gets a call regarding an accident involving a fuel tanker truck versus car on northbound U.S. Highway 93 near Railroad Pass Casino. Unknown injuries. Officers arrive and determine the out-of-country unlicensed driver changed lanes and almost became part of the tanker truck’s hood ornament. The driver of the car was taken to the hospital with apparent injuries. The accident took a couple of hours to clear, but it backed up traffic in Boulder City for a while. Thank goodness Boulder City residents were patient.

Feb. 15: Officer pulls over a violator for speeding up U.S. 93. As the officer makes contact with Speed Racer and checking for oncoming traffic, the officer realizes another vehicle is barreling toward him. The officer jumps out of the way and observes the driver was on the cellphone. The officer cuts the speeder a break, and then promptly pulls over the driver talking on the cellphone. It gets worse. Not only was the driver on the cellphone, the subject was driving under the influence of alcohol.

The officer’s heartbeat slowed down while taking the subject to jail.

Another week goes into the history books. As we go into the end of February I’d like to thank all of you for helping each other out. We are one community with a common goal to help one another. Keep it real Boulder City!

Officer Jeffrey Grasso is a 10-year veteran of the Boulder City Police Department. He previously served as a police officer in south Florida for four years.

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